AF Cured??

I've read quite a bit here about things that can be the start of AF but I'm wondering if, once suffering from AF is it ever cured?

I'm on preventatives and treatment for AF and have been so for approx. 3 years. I now have my second severe attack (which I'm trying to work out of, as its impossible to have any extra/further treatment at present.

Do people usually eventually recover to an AF free life?

17 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Sorry no in most cases. AF almost always gets worse unless you are lucky enough to go the ablation route in which case you may have some years AF free as I have (six so far). Drug treatments will never "cure" it and can only maybe slow the advance or control symptoms but often at a terrible cost in terms of side effects.

    Ablation itself isn't necessarily a cure but can greatly improve quality of life at the least and can last for quite some time but there is always the risk of a return later in life.

    I am sorry not to have better news for you but remember we are still really only twenty years into the treatment of AF which till the mid nineties was regarded by most medics as a benign nuisance and not worth treating. Progress continues and we all hope that one day the magic bullet will appear.

    Bob

  • You're a cheery soul aren't you?

  • Cure may be a really strong word. Many people may become AF free for varying lengths of time after an ablation, and AF can also improve significantly and even become dormant for years with lifestyle changes. It is what we all hope for!

  • I've met a woman who had it for a year, got fed up with the meds and went for a natural alternative with diet and lifestyle changes. After 6 months she was AF free. She believed that having the mental determination helped too. And we know thoughts have the power to turn genes on and off so why not help heal?

    I was in AF for 4 months, did everything I could to calm things down with a good diet and supplements as recommended by a naturopath. And since my Cardioversion, everything's been back to normal for 6 months to date - touch wood!

    I don't think it's ever false hope to believe in a cure.

  • Having had it for a couple of years every time I went running, it vanished completely for over 3 months and I really thought I'd got rid of it. Unfortunately, it came back in the end - and I can remember the exact moment - and thereafter it plagued me until an ablation last May which seems thus far to be holding it in abeyance and long may it continue.

  • I don't want to tempt fate, but i've recently started running again and have not had any return of AF

    I had a persistent AF episode that lasted 5 months until a cardioversion put me back into rythym 7 months ago

    I have been wary of getting my trainers back on since the cardioversion as i didn't want to go through it all again, but my goal was to run again

    I have been taking it very easy but so far all is going well

  • Not wishing to tempt fate, I have been AF free for almost 4 years following an ablation. I had some ectopics about 18 months ago which caused me to think I was back in AF. However after a visit to A and E I was given the all clear again. The ectopics disappeared and have not returned ( touch wood)

    The specialist who did my ablation advised me to stay on Sotalol as a precaution and I am still on this drug and have been for some 10 years now. At the seminar last October I was alarmed to hear an eminent doctor decry Sotalol as dangerous and am aware that it is no longer recommended by NICE. Following the seminar I went to my GP for advice and as she was not aware of any bad press with the drug suggested I see a a cardio at my local hospital. I have waited almost 4 months for an appointment which is finally going to happen next week.

    My dilemma is that the Sotalol has given me no side effects whatsoever. I can exercise without problems and have no issues with the drug. I am worried that I may be switched to another drug which will impact on my life in all sorts of ways. I am also confused by the fact that it is clear that Sotalol is being freely administered to many other people. I have also realised after checking that my appointment next week is not with an EP specialist which will also probably result in even more confusion. When the appointment arrived I rang the hospital and asked if I could see an EP, I was informed that no EP,s are registered at the hospital and I would have to get back in a new queue at a different hospital. As a result I have stuck with this appointment but don't expect much guidance and feel that they will simply play safe and switch me to another drug.

  • hi

    sounds about right.!! I was on sotalol for 8 years, now bisoprolol, neither have done anything for the AF at any time.

    As for appointments for AF, my experience is that AF is not considered as life threatening, and as such is not given much priority. As long as you are medicated according to the rules, health service is covered.

  • People said there were no cures for Polio Smallpox Diphthrea also many cancers that had no cures just a few years ago are now 90% curable and many diseases thought to be incurable are now being treated and cured so please don't be to despondent. there are many new treatments being trialled for AF and because of the massive cost for hospital care in the NHS and health care in the US and else where around the world means that the research into AF will move on. its not so long ago that there were little or no treatments for Afib so things are changing and one of the best EP in the UK a professor Schilling from Barts hospital London mentions the word cured when hes talking about ablation so stay positive.

  • My cardiologist recently told me that they have a saying that 'AF begets AF'' which was his way of saying that most treatment is short-term. My last Successful Cardioversion lasted 13 months before it went bang.

    he thinks there's no current cure.

  • The ablations and drugs nowadays are pretty good, so even if we just improve on those, that could be, in effect, a "cure". And there will be a proper cure one day.

    Koll

  • I've had AF now for 10 years AND it's now permanent. I also have a leaky valve and a touch of angina.

    HOWEVER, my life and health is otherwise great. I exercise hard and though I do have bad episodes of fatigue I am grateful that I suffer with nothing worse than AF. It's now part of me and I tend to be unaware of the condition most of the time. Maybe, I'm a luck one !

    As I've said before, be the boss and don't let AF control or determine what you do with your life. My cardio says to carry on regardless and, as with everything, just listen to your body. It will tell you when it needs a little tlc.

  • Well I hope not to be tempting fate either, but after nearly three years since being diagnosed with PAF after an operation, a cardiologist recently has discharged me back to the care of my GP as in the last year I have lost weight, got fitter and had only three short episodes of AF with no chest pain/breathlessness. He did offer an ablation, to my great surprise, but said I might prefer to wait until my medication was not controlling the condition - this leads on to the Sotalol question referred to by another contributor! I too get on well with this drug and the specialist gave me a long explanation of why it is still useful - and he lost me!

    I decided to decline the ablation for now, but if things deteriorate, will opt for sedation rather than GA during it, because the GA I previously had for the abdominal op played havoc with my lungs and led me to AF in the first place, I firmly believe.

    He also said he would ask my GP to consider replacing the warfarin I take with one of the newer anti-coags, though whether that will happen, I don't know ( my ankles are constantly unsightly with blue/red blotches which may/may not, be a bleed. )

    So, I have got off pretty lightly at this stage of the AF journey, but am very conscious that things may erupt when least expected, so have everything crossed, and send my best to all contributors to this great forum!

  • Thank you for all your replies and am grateful that all seem to keep positive. I think I'm lucky in that as I said it's quite as while between the 2 'incidents'. When I was first finally diagnosed and placed on so many drugs I was determined that I would find less damaging alternative treatment but seem no where near that. In fact some of my dosages have had to be increased.

    Yes, I'll google as you suggest Bigleg - at present I'm just too tired to go further. Night, night and thank you once again, all.

  • Hi Helena,

    AF is a highly untrustworthy condition .... no cure (in my view) ... I control my paroxysmal AF with two essential methods and one a bit more of a personal mental approach. First two - meds (Bisoprolol and Warfarin) and diet/lifestyle. Most important for me is diet. If I keep my digestive system calm my AF remains dormant. The mental approach is to simply to treat the bloody thing with the contempt it deserves, tell to clear off, dismiss it and release it. Just can't remember my last AF event now. BUT - cure - no way am I cured. I am ready for it to return at any time - yet hoping it won't .... frankly, although retired I'm just so busy I just don't have time for it.

    John

  • Thank you for your positive answer Aussiejohn, Normally I take a similar approach but things are not easy just now as I'm virtually a full time carer for my husband. I am more worried that I get a bad case of AF again and have to be whisked off to hospital! That would be disastrous as there is no one else. SDtill I must pull myself together and determine to chase AF away!

  • Hi. Received this email from Dr. John.

    The problem with AF treatment is that we do not (really) understand the underlying causes of the disease.

    Why does the heart fibrillate? What gets those pesky premature beats started? Why do intermittent episodes persist? Why does AF come back after shocks or ablation?

    AF has been thought of as its own disease. You have high blood pressure and AF, diabetes and AF, depression and AF. And when there are no other obvious diseases, we used to say “lone” AF, which wrongly assumed that AF was its own disease.*

    Atrial fibrillation was just another problem on a list of things to address. It was in a silo–cardiac.

    That mindset is changing. And it is a good news/bad news thing.

    The good news is that we are finding answers to the basic questions of AF. We are closer to a cure. Really, we are. I have seen cure happen.

    The bad news is that there will be no single pill or procedural cure. That is because atrial fibrillation is (most often) an effect not a cause. The top chambers of the heart, with their thin walls and closeness to nerve endings and exposure to blood volume and pressure 100,000 times per day, are like a window onto overall health.

    When we are well, our atria are well.

    When the balance is perturbed, our atria will tell us. The nerve endings that connect the brain and heart fire. Premature beats begin. Initially, the premature beats are extinguished. They are just single beats, a thud and that is it.

    Over weeks, months and years the premature beats wander out into the atria and find diseased cells and pockets of scar tissue (fibrosis). We name this process remodeling. Single premature beats can now start rotating around the sites of disease into rotors. (Picture an eye of the storm and hurricane.) AF starts.

    The remodeling process is complex. It happens inside the atrial cells (ion channels), between the cells, in the scaffold surrounding the cells and in the nerve endings connected to the cells. It is so NOT one thing.

    But why it occurs is not mysterious at all. Remodeling occurs because everything in our body is connected. The brain and the heart are connected. The lungs and the heart are connected. The immune system and the heart are connected. And so on.

    Dr. Prash Sanders and his team of scientists are getting doctors to pay attention to the entire patient–not just her atria.

    Listen to my friend explain this new way of thinking. In the Q & A after his lecture, the second question leads to a very disruptive thought for cardiologists.

    JMM

    * In very rare cases, AF can be its own disease, sort of like a fluky atrial tachycardia.

    Related posts:

    1.Blaming the patient…and the philosophy of caring for people with atrial fibrillation

    2.New post on Medscape/Cardiology: My take of the 2014 Atrial Fibrillation treatment guidelines

    3.Is it better to burn or freeze atrial fibrillation?

    The problem with AF treatment is that we do not (really) understand the underlying causes of the disease.

    Why does the heart fibrillate? What gets those pesky premature beats started? Why do intermittent episodes persist? Why does AF come back after shocks or ablation?

    AF has been thought of as its own disease. You have high blood pressure and AF, diabetes and AF, depression and AF. And when there are no other obvious diseases, we used to say “lone” AF, which wrongly assumed that AF was its own disease.*

    Atrial fibrillation was just another problem on a list of things to address. It was in a silo–cardiac.

    That mindset is changing. And it is a good news/bad news thing.

    The good news is that we are finding answers to the basic questions of AF. We are closer to a cure. Really, we are. I have seen cure happen.

    The bad news is that there will be no single pill or procedural cure. That is because atrial fibrillation is (most often) an effect not a cause. The top chambers of the heart, with their thin walls and closeness to nerve endings and exposure to blood volume and pressure 100,000 times per day, are like a window onto overall health.

    When we are well, our atria are well.

    When the balance is perturbed, our atria will tell us. The nerve endings that connect the brain and heart fire. Premature beats begin. Initially, the premature beats are extinguished. They are just single beats, a thud and that is it.

    Over weeks, months and years the premature beats wander out into the atria and find diseased cells and pockets of scar tissue (fibrosis). We name this process remodeling. Single premature beats can now start rotating around the sites of disease into rotors. (Picture an eye of the storm and hurricane.) AF starts.

    The remodeling process is complex. It happens inside the atrial cells (ion channels), between the cells, in the scaffold surrounding the cells and in the nerve endings connected to the cells. It is so NOT one thing.

    But why it occurs is not mysterious at all. Remodeling occurs because everything in our body is connected. The brain and the heart are connected. The lungs and the heart are connected. The immune system and the heart are connected. And so on.

    Dr. Prash Sanders and his team of scientists are getting doctors to pay attention to the entire patient–not just her atria.

    Listen to my friend explain this new way of thinking. In the Q & A after his lecture, the second question leads to a very disruptive thought for cardiologists.

    JMM

    * In very rare cases, AF can be its own disease, sort of like a fluky atrial tachycardia.

    Related posts:

    1.Blaming the patient…and the philosophy of caring for people with atrial fibrillation

    2.New post on Medscape/Cardiology: My take of the 2014 Atrial Fibrillation treatment guidelines

    3.Is it better to burn or freeze atrial fibrillation?

    The problem with AF treatment is that we do not (really) understand the underlying causes of the disease.

    Why does the heart fibrillate? What gets those pesky premature beats started? Why do intermittent episodes persist? Why does AF come back after shocks or ablation?

    AF has been thought of as its own disease. You have high blood pressure and AF, diabetes and AF, depression and AF. And when there are no other obvious diseases, we used to say “lone” AF, which wrongly assumed that AF was its own disease.*

    Atrial fibrillation was just another problem on a list of things to address. It was in a silo–cardiac.

    That mindset is changing. And it is a good news/bad news thing.

    The good news is that we are finding answers to the basic questions of AF. We are closer to a cure. Really, we are. I have seen cure happen.

    The bad news is that there will be no single pill or procedural cure. That is because atrial fibrillation is (most often) an effect not a cause. The top chambers of the heart, with their thin walls and closeness to nerve endings and exposure to blood volume and pressure 100,000 times per day, are like a window onto overall health.

    When we are well, our atria are well.

    When the balance is perturbed, our atria will tell us. The nerve endings that connect the brain and heart fire. Premature beats begin. Initially, the premature beats are extinguished. They are just single beats, a thud and that is it.

    Over weeks, months and years the premature beats wander out into the atria and find diseased cells and pockets of scar tissue (fibrosis). We name this process remodeling. Single premature beats can now start rotating around the sites of disease into rotors. (Picture an eye of the storm and hurricane.) AF starts.

    The remodeling process is complex. It happens inside the atrial cells (ion channels), between the cells, in the scaffold surrounding the cells and in the nerve endings connected to the cells. It is so NOT one thing.

    But why it occurs is not mysterious at all. Remodeling occurs because everything in our body is connected. The brain and the heart are connected. The lungs and the heart are connected. The immune system and the heart are connected. And so on.

    Dr. Prash Sanders and his team of scientists are getting doctors to pay attention to the entire patient–not just her atria.

    Listen to my friend explain this new way of thinking. In the Q & A after his lecture, the second question leads to a very disruptive thought for cardiologists.

    JMM

    * In very rare cases, AF can be its own disease, sort of like a fluky atrial tachycardia.

    Related posts:

    1.Blaming the patient…and the philosophy of caring for people with atrial fibrillation

    2.New post on Medscape/Cardiology: My take of the 2014 Atrial Fibrillation treatment guidelines

    3.Is it better to burn or freeze atrial fibrillation?

You may also like...